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New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. III, No. 2, Summer 1947

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NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. III, No. 2, Summer, 1947

PETER PARROTT AND HIS SONGS
Edith Cutting

PETE’S HOME is in Redford, Clinton County, New York, but I met him and listened to him sing in Au Sable Forks. He is a carpenter—and painter—and cement worker, and he told me to tell you he’s “jack of all trades and master of none, and . . . the craziest darn fool that ever lived.” Maybe—if being crazy makes a man able to sing one song after another for two hours solid. I listened that long, and Pete declared he could go on singing all night without repeating.

Peter Parrott is American-born, but his father was French- Canadian and passed on to his nine children his love of singing. Pete estimated that three-quarters of the songs he knew he had learned from his father, beginning when he was about eight years old. He acknowledged that he knows a few square dance calls and can play the “violeen,” accordian, and mouth organ. As he had none of these musical instruments with him, however, he spent the three evenings singing hit-or-miss as the songs occurred to him, repeating patiently for me the ones I wanted to copy down. ...


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